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Okinawan Weapons

Tembe-Rochin

Tembe-Rochin

Tembe-Rochin

This weapon is the most glamorous of the Ryukyu system and exudes a feeling of history long gone. The usage however is more akin to a combination of Zulu fighting and European sword and small shield fighting.

The Tembe (Shield) can be made of various material but is commonly found in vine or cane, metal, or for presentation, in turtle shell. The shield size is generally about 45 cm long and 38 cm wide. The Rochin (Short spear) is cut with the length of the shaft being the same distance as the forearm to the elbow if it is being held in the hand. The spearhead then protrudes from the shaft and can be found in many differing designs. The favored style has an expanded middle section before the point, which is twisted upon insertion to make the wound larger. The weight of the blade is critical for the spear usage, which is swiveled between the fingers to use both ends, smashing with the butt end and stabbing with the blade end.

The techniques are circular to avoid too much direct contact on the shield and the short spear is predominantly used in an upward stabbing motion, piercing armor under the rib cage, armpits, and throat. The techniques of the Tembe-Rochin are unique to shield and spear usage.

 

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